Clogged Drain? Here’s How to Clean It Yourself

From Kitchen Sinks to Bathtubs

It seems like there's always something to clean or fix around the house. One day it's chipped paint in the closet; the next day it's oven cleaning. Now and then, we all face another common problem: clogged drains in kitchens and bathrooms. Beyond prevention, homeowners have two options when it comes to unclogging drains: DIY drain cleaning or using local drain cleaning services.

DIY Drain Cleaning

DIY or "do it yourself" drain cleaning is great for people who are handy with tools and like to tackle problems on their own. There are several simple ways to clear a clogged drain without breaking the bank. For example, drain cleaner is a very popular product which breaks up debris stuck in drains and pipes. Drain cleaners are inexpensive and readily found in most hardware or convenience stores.

Since some cleaners contain harmful chemicals, some people choose to use homemade concoctions instead of manufactured drain cleaner products. Experts suggest beginning by running hot water for 10 minutes to flush out the pipe system. Unlike products containing chemicals, organic and natural alternatives do not damage brass, steel or iron pipes. Hot water, baking soda, vinegar, washing soda, enzyme cleaners and a simple plunger or suction device will usually help clean clogged drains. Sometimes the problem is too complicated, and professionals with drain cleaning equipment will have to intervene.

Drain Cleaning Services

Drain cleaning services are provided by plumbers or another professional with specialized knowledge and experience. Even though it's expensive, hiring a plumber or other professional is best for those who aren't comfortable with DIY drain or grout cleaning. Plumbers have tools and drain cleaning equipment such as snakes, which many homeowners don't keep around the house. A snake is a coil of wire that threads down pipes to break up blockage and clear clogged drains more quickly and easily. Sometimes, plumbers will have to completely open clogged drains to pump out water and debris.

Of course, a clogged drain can be prevented if steps are taken to maintain pipe systems. Using a drain cleaning product from time to time when no backup is present can slow down the buildup of debris. Putting steel mesh covers over the drain hole will catch solid matter before it gets into the pipes and causes a backup. Also, as part of weekly household maintenance, cleaning kitchen and bathroom drains with baking soda will make future unclogging easier.

Caring for and maintaining kitchen and bathroom drains saves money and time down the road. If the dilemma is something that can't easily be fixed, it's never hard to find certified professionals who are willing to help out.

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